From Wednesday Night at Crescent School
On Friday we get a new president. You may like this, or you may not. Whether you do or not is completely beside the point. We're getting a new president.
According to Romans 13, Christians are to submit to the government leaders because government leadership is ordained by God. Some think this means God ordained the actual individuals who are in power, others think this refers to government office in general.
I tend toward the second view. There have been some evil government rulers in the past; I hesitate to say God put them there to do their evil. It is my opinion that God ordained human government, and regardless of who is in office, the believer is to honor them.
Why do we honor them? God put them there and He put them there to restrain evil. Granted, your definition of evil may be different from your leader's definition, but still, life would be tons more evil without law, order, punishment, and government.
This is what God put them there for, so do what is good and more than likely you won't have a problem with them anyway.
Romans 13 says the role of a believer in relation to government leaders is to submit to them, pay your taxes, and then give them honor and fear. He doesn't bring up whether you like your leader or not; He just tells you this is what you do.
Last week we talked about how 95% of people in congress identify as Christian. Christians listen to the Bible. The Bible says to honor your government leaders. Yet as the week goes on, an increasing number of Democrat congressmen are boycotting the inauguration. How can this be if 95% are Christians?!
But this is where we need to be careful! Some of you are judging President Trump, others are judging the Democrat congressmen. Here's the deal: President Trump and these congressmen are your government leaders you are supposed to honor and respect!
Furthermore, 74% of Americans identify as Christian. Christians listen to the Bible. The Bible says to honor your government leaders. Yet a new poll says only 40% approve of our new president. How can 74% of Americans be Christians and yet 60% disapprove of our president? I suppose it is possible to disapprove while still showing honor and respect, but I've talked to enough people to know this is hard to pull off.
Here's the deal: honoring government leaders who you like is no problem. Honoring the ones you disagree with, the ones you struggle with, now that is where Christian virtue shows up.
Luke 6:32-35 says loving people who love you is not worthy of thanks, loving those who hate you is Christlikeness and worthy of reward! So you don't like Trump? Congratulations! You now have an excellent opportunity to gain eternal reward by respecting him anyway. So you don't like Democrat congressmen? Congratulations! You have an excellent opportunity to gain eternal reward by respecting them.
This is a tough one. Yet also a very clear one in the Bible. Respect your government leaders: President, congressmen, governors, mayors, it really doesn't matter who they are: honor and fear them. Submit to them. Pay your taxes. Do good. One day you'll stand before your King of Kings and give an account of how well you listened to His command to honor your earthly leaders.